By Jeff Boshart
Frequent hurricanes, political instability, high crime rates, and deforestation are just a few of the challenges to successful development work in Honduras.
The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) is supporting an urban chicken project with a local church partner, Viviendo en Amor y Fe (VAF, Living in Love and Faith).
In September, GFI manager Jeff Boshart visited the project in Tegucigalpa. Inflation has increased food insecurity for the Honduran people, and project holders shared their struggles during home visits.
Please pray… For the work of the Global Food Initiative and its partners around the world to decrease food insecurity and hunger.
In other news
The GFI Review Panel has experienced changes of membership. After many years serving on the review panel, Dale Minnich of Mound Ridge, Kan., has decided to step down. His vast experience in the life of the denomination will be missed greatly. Replacing Minnich on the panel will be Andrew Lefever of Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, who holds a bachelor of science degree in Agricultural Sciences from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has worked for four years as an agronomist in Pennsylvania advising crop producers on pest management and soil fertility-related issues, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the Agricultural and Environmental Plant Science program at Penn State University. Lefever will join Patricia Krabacher (New Carlisle, Ohio), Linda Dows-Byers (Lancaster, Pa.), James Schmidt (Polo, Ill.), and Jeffrey Graybill (Manheim, Pa.) in rounding out the review panel.
Of the nine families in the project in Honduras, four demonstrated progress after one year of the project. Their chickens were providing enough eggs to feed their family, and through the sale of excess eggs they were able to continue to purchase feed for the laying hens. They are entering the second year of the project, which includes raising chicks to both increase their flocks and to pass to other families.
Four other families reported that the increased price of basic needs for the family has made it difficult to continue with the project and they have had to reduce the number of chickens they are raising.
One family returned all its chickens to be distributed to the rest of the group, citing the high cost of raising chickens.
Boshart met with VAF leaders to discuss some adjustments to the project, such as purchasing feed in bulk or purchasing ingredients to produce their own feed, along with specialization within the project with some participants focusing on chick raising, others on marketing, and some on compost production to take advantage of the poultry manure.
Several Church of the Brethren agencies currently have complementary programs in the country. The Global Mission office is working at making connections between the VAF congregation and Brethren leaders across Latin America through the exchange of pastor visits. Brethren Disaster Ministries is providing support to longtime partner Proyecto Aldea Global (Project Global Village) for a major home construction and repair program responding to hurricanes that caused great destruction in 2020.
— Jeff Boshart is manager of the Global Food Initiative. Find out more at www.brethren.org/gfi.
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